There’s no industry standard on price for players in football transfer. Any club wishing to avoid a price competition must be ready to pay the transfer fee or trigger the release clause. Value is the focus. Going forth and back wasting time haggling and employing PINCH-BIDDING especially for an exceptional player as Caicedo was calling for a bidding war. Highest bidder carries the day. This is what Chelsea’s new owner, Boehly, must understand. “Move swift as the Wind and closely formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain” – Sun Tzu.

Besides, Boehly went around fighting on many fronts. Liverpool’s record bid for Caicedo was a reprisal move after Boehly outbidded them for Romeo Lavia. Boehly had also earlier hijacked Lesley Ugochukwu from Monaco, who was Brighton’s backup plan for Caicedo, if sold. In retaliation, Brighton had quickly launched a bid to hijack Mohammed Kudus from Ajax, who Chelsea was already in negotiation with. It’s in same vein Brighton hurriedly accepted Liverpool’s offer for Caicedo when in the know the player’s heart was set on joining Chelsea. In the Art of War, fighting small battles to lose the war is a poor strategy. Boehly must take note

Caicedo fits the Chelsea Defensive Midfield role perfectly and towers higher in stats than other peers who play in same role. Why lose Caicedo over them? Almost every Chelsea fan expected his signing as a matter of urgency and utmost priority. Chelsea’s midfield is the most vulnerable area that needs reinforcements after the departure of Jorginho, Kante Kovacic & Loftus-Cheek.

Furthermore, the naivety of Caicedo and whomever is his agent is contributory to the prolonged saga. Why sign a contract extension after his transfer was stalled in January over same price issue knowing there are suitors wanting his service? You don’t sign a new contract when wanting to exit a club. It’s what Brighton capitalized on to hike the fee to $100m as against the $80m demanded in January.

Mbappe rejection of a new contract at PSG is a clear instance and pointer on averting situations as this. Mohammed Kudus too is believed to have put his transfer to Brighton on hold in a quest to know and have a say in his release clause. I think the only way to stem these Shylock tendencies of football clubs in the transfer market is for players to actively start being involved in negotiations on their price tags before getting signed. It is not a slave trade.

In conclusion, I still believe Boehly has done well so far in the transfer window but chose to play Ludo with Caicedo transfer. I think it’s owning to the signing experience with Enzo Fernandez from Benfica so as to avoid creating another desperate impression that could cause price manipulation. As a greenhorn in the football business, he’s learning the ropes gradually. He will eventually come through with time.

In the meantime, I welcome Moises Caicedo to Chelsea in advance. His commitment to the Blues Project is commendable. May it materialize.

What a saga!

-By: Tayo Faloye

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